Causes of HIV/AIDS

According to the history of HIV and AIDS, it is suspected that HIV originated from chimpanzees where the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) got into human beings after consuming infected meat from chimpanzees. The virus then mutated to become HIV that causes Aids and spread from one person to another over time.

HIV virus causes AIDS, and one can’t be said to have AIDS without HIV. There are two types of HIV viruses that cause AIDS; HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the common one in many parts of the world with HIV-2 only reported in some parts of West Africa. The two viruses insert the DNA-genes into the DNA of CD4 cells of the infected person infecting them for the rest of their lives. They continue replicating and multiplying while damaging the immune system gradually until the body is too weak to resist infections and certain cancers.

HIV-1 virus attacks the CD4 cells, uses them to replicate then destroys them hence weakening the immune system gradually as more of the cells are damaged. Once a significant number of the CD4 cells are damaged, the condition progresses to AIDS which is more severe and life-threatening.

How infection occurs

  • If they share sharp objects like needles, tattoo piercings, drug injections with infected individuals
  • During childbirth from mother to child when the baby is exposed to the infected blood
  • From mother to child through breastfeeding
  • When there is an exchange of fluids during vaginal or anal sex
  • During oral sex in case of blood in saliva or bleeding wounds in the mouth

Once correctly tested and diagnosed of the virus, the doctor will prescribe the right medication depending with the type of virus then the drugs will work to help lower the ability of the virus to replicate and multiply. This will also help in preventing the advancement of the infection to AIDS.


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